Q & A With Sallie Lau

Getting ready to shuck oysters at the Hama Hama Oyster Rama!

Why did you decide to pursue a Master of Marine Affairs?

I’m one of those people who was kind of in limbo after undergrad. I’d just gotten a degree and a job in marine biology, but I didn’t feel like continuing doing scientific research. I also didn’t know what I felt like doing either. I only knew that I still liked learning stuff that’s going on in the ocean, and that I wanted to do more social justice work someday. Marine affairs, with its focus on the human dimensions in the marine environment, seemed like a good bridge between my past studies and vague future plans. So I applied to this program. And I don’t regret it one bit.

What has been your favorite class at UW so far? Why?

So far, my favourite class has been Marc Miller’s interview class. I like thinking not only about what I’m doing but also about why I’m doing it. And Marc’s class, which is a research methods class, really challenges me to think about my ethics and approach to research, as well as how I situate myself in an environment and relate to other people. It’s amazing, because I went into this class thinking that it would be about how to conduct a Q and A, but it’s so, so much more than that!

What’s it like to live in Seattle? What do you do in your spare time?

It’s spring in Seattle, and it’s sunny, and the flowers are out, so I’m going to say I like living in Seattle a lot. But in the winter, it gets hard. I’m from Hong Kong, and it’s never as dark or wet as it is here. I also frequently miss people back home. But Seattle has a lot to keep me occupied! Sometimes, I go out with my friends to the International District to have dim sum, which is like Cantonese-style tapas but with more socializing involved. I also like joining walking tours around town because they generally talk the histories of Seattle you don’t get to hear about often in SMEA. Just a few weeks ago, I joined the Filipinx Radical History Walking Tour. It was great!